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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  May 18, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington leading off tonight, the great chicago fire. are you as surprised as i am that the people who don't like the president can't think of anything better to hit him with than the preacher he had back in chicago? that's just what we're hearing right now. the right believes john mccain missed his chance four years ago. it's convinced if only the country knew about jeremiah wright it never would have voted for barack obama. in the fever swamps of the right, this is the key to winning the white house this time, it's only the question of which angry, dirty money pack will take up the cause. also, two things to know about mitt romney's bain capital problem. one, nearly two years later he doesn't have a good response what he did with that company, and two, as long as he doesn't, people are going to hit him with it hard. look at the interactive map he put up about bain spots around the country. all of them happen to be in
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swing states. and the great author buzz bissinger joins us tonight on how to connect with the son he barely knew. we begin with the columnist for the national post and david corn is author of the book "showdown." both are msnbc political analysts. >> i like how you say that. >> some people believe that the reason they bring this up, the reason they get the big 54-page plan for this, they want to keep showing the america line from reverend wright. they want us to ring that fricking bell one more time. is that right, eugene? >> it could be. i don't know how far this gets this time. it's not as if everybody doesn't know about jeremiah wright.
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>> i hear rickets, he believes this is great. he loves -- >> but the people who believe it's great are the people who already hate obama, right? i wonder how many people they're convincing, people who haven't heard about jeremiah wright. >> what does black liberation theology have to do with the auto bailout, have to do with the stimulus, have to do with the grand bargain, killing bin laden. it's really ludicrous. i think in a lot of ways, you have these republican political consultants, like fred davis in this case, going around and finding these venting billion areas, who i call villionaires, saying, listen, we have the killer vote. it's a bad production. you can go back to the club and tell all your pals, hey, i took out obama with that ad. >> let's take a look. here's a guy who thinks maybe just like them.
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i can never tell what he believes and what he's putting out there, but here he is. he showed mitt romney repudia repudiating the attacks and talking about the economy. he says, he doesn't want to do it. he ought to do it. here he is, sic mitt on the president. let's watch. >> governor romney, i have to respectfully disagree with you. i do believe the economy, jobs, national security are by far the most pressing issue facing the country today. i also feel that every candidate, though, needs to be fully vetted. that's something the mainstream media failed to do back in 2008 with barack obama, and i believe the president's relationship with the reverend jeremiah wright, a man who influenced him for over 20 years, inspired him, is a very important campaign issue. after all, it is a matter of character. >> okay, okay. we've watched this guy's press for four years. people watch him pretty astutely and with a lot of care. we're not seeing the president? we're not seeing this geronimo
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character, this crazed person buried in the soul of this guy because of jeremiah wright? >> four years in office is what i call vetting. that i call vetting. if you've got the job, you've done it for four years so people can decide. they like what he's done, they don't like what he's done. they like what he might do, they don't like what he might do. >> is this showmanship, or does he really believe there is some other person under this guy we're watching, a sort of debonaire president, someone to lead, but underneath that is this crazed missionary. >> newt gingrich talked about saul linsky, a guy who wanted to be a real social dictator once he got elected. but shawn was saying on fox news there wasn't a vetting of obama
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on jeremiah wright? >> first of all -- well, he's like a black revolutionary with the automatic weapons, the sunglasses, the beret. it's not just the guy who likes to play fault. he's trying to learn. >> this is an imaging of the bill ayers, it all goes back to this that he's not associated because he's not black or whatever it is. >> look at michelle. doesn't she look like the campus type? she's a fashion plate. >> no, she's the angry black
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woman. >> that's what i don't see. they're raising perfect kids, they are mr. and mrs. perfect. >> they have fooled you. you've fallen for it. it's a ruse. >> somewhere someone must be believing this crap. >> i'm sure it's good for ratings at fox. >> did you hear that, dear? come in here. did you hear what shawn said? >> there are people who believe this stuff but they were not going to vote for barack obama positi position? here's romney, well he had indicated guy, here's what he thinks. he himself brought up reverend wright in a radio interview. he brought up comments about the president, about the country's increasing diversity. here's romney hitting him left and right. he's too secular. he listens to his preacher too
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much. >> i think again that the president takes his philosophical leanings in this regard not from those who are believers but from those who would like to see. or the reverend write is saying we. he asked about dutch radio comments. >> i'm not precisely sure what i said, but i stand by what i said, whatever it was. >> i personally deny whatever i said whatever -- no. >> do not joke about it. for him to come out and say he wants this country to be less
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christian when he professes his christian faith, barack obama, that is, it's kind of insulting and where does he get it from? it's feeding this notion that there is something weird revolutionary, that he wants to convert, that barack obama doesn't understand what's special about america? he doesn't get america exceptionalism? it's all part of the same handbook. he does it in a more gentle way. >> do we want to get into what mitt romney said listening to that? >> he called up shawn and said, you just opened up the religious issue. that's not smart. >> exactly. and what he heard in 1978 is black people are cursed. >> so why would he want to open up that book? >> i don't think he should, and
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he panders on both sides of the equation in that one statement. he does look to the rest of the world. it's just the world we live in, common humanity. but i don't know if anybody has been more poetic. >> he apologizes for america, he doesn't get america, and this is a consistent thum. are the debates going sboog tog into this area? are they going to do rev rent wright? i see this advertising guy, fred davis, who tried to get mccain to use it. someone told me they're going to keep pushing it. love it, they eat it up, so there is a record. >> i think the establishment is
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going to like -- because i think they're not going to see a lot of game there. technically you open up the re -- religious campaign. >> there will be super pac billionaires out there putting on the most hateful ads, and again and again, the president is going to call and i'll say, what do you think of this? this is done for your benefit although not for your campaign. and it's going to put him in this jam against blasting peo e people. >> i don't know what's worse, his secular ideas or his crazy ri rigs. >> this is going to be a pretty
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rot gut campaign. >> we figured out a good response to those questions by bain capital. he gets hit on it but he sort of has a glan joyce for you thz "hardball" the police for ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] virtual wallet
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wonder of wonders, welcome back to "hardball." mitt romney still hasn't come up with a response to the issue that torpedoed that 1994 senate campaign against ted kennedy when he was handed the win against newt gingrich of south carolina. same thing. his criticism of leadership with
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bain, he can't defend it. now 18 years after ted kennedy branded his work with bain as a liability, obama's team is invoking the same tact with race success and it shows up here. the man who worked with ted kennedy back then with the anti-bain ads that ultimately led to kennedy defeating mitt romney in the 1994 senate race. this is fun. you have found -- they used to say with a bayonet you stick it in, if you hit bone, you pull it back. it seems, bobby, every time you guys hit him with bain capital, you got mush and you can just squeeze it and turn and around a lot to use an awful reference to bayonets, isn't that true? and romney is doing the same thing you guys did with no bone matter. it's just all mush in there. >> he was paralyzed in 1994. he didn't respond at all for days. a bus came to massachusetts,
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tried to see him. he wouldn't see them and as a result he kept the story alive. this goes to the central rati rationale of his candidacy. it shreds the idea that he's a mr. fix-it for the economy. it also moves from what he did in the private sector to his positions on public policy like destroying medicare, being a governor who was 47th in job creation. if that narrative gets told and gets told effectively and gets told unimpeded, by the end of this process he's going to be a candidate by the few and for the few. >> i have to tell you, it's amazing how our languages get twisted. i hate phrases like wd sand we had so many job kraercreators. everybody who makes a buck out there is a job creator. he's like the king of this
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notion of bs. i went to work today, guess what, i went out and created jobs today. that's what i did. no, you went out to make a paycheck. does mitt romney look like a guy who really cares about creating jobs or does he look like a guy who likes to make a lot of money? there's nothing wrong with it, exactly, you just do it. he bragz abos about it. >> he's changed his story many times. he's created hundreds of thousands of jobs, it was a few thousand. every time he's challenged on it, he comes around with a different explanation. it's even more powerful now. i was just sitting here thinking, 18 years ago, babies who were born that year are going to college next year if they can get into college, if they can afford college, and you've got a man, mitt romney -- >> that's if their mothers didn't lose their jobs. >> and you've got romney saying borrow money from your parents to go to college. he doesn't get it, he didn't get
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it back then and he's got a glass jaw on this. >> here's what they're doing now. the obama campaign has launched a website now., it's called. it goes hand in hand portraying romney as a cutthroat business guy. they select the swing states here. they've got eight states and they're doing ads in five of those states including a number of workers laid off in each state. so bob, they're going around systemically showing you how many jobs have been lost. the pro-obama super pac parties usa is up there in their own anti-bain, like i said, iowa, pennsylvania, ohio. let's watch it. >> if romney's objective was to make money, whether the companies he hired made money, so it be. mitt romney's company always made money. if they lost, he made money. if they survived, he made money.
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it's as simple is that. he'll give you the same thing he gave us. nothing. he'll take it all. >> priorities usa action is responsible for the content of this advertising. >> that's strong stuff, bob. >> yeah, it's really powerful for the same reason the '94 ads were powerful. it's real people talking to real people. reagan democrats, blue collar democrats talking to voters in swing states. and romney had to know this was coming for months, for years. it's a mamazing to me they seem paralyzed. i think what they'll do ultimately is put people from staples out there and say he creates jobs. the problem is bain had two businesses. one was venture capital and the other -- i don't quote him very often, what rick perry called as a rule tour capitalism. take over a company, squeeze it, load it with debt, fire people, make millions and be done with it. >> then get back on the aircraft you came in on, the conehead
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phrase he used. great politicians like tip o'neal, ted kennedy and even ronald reagan in an interesting way were able to connect with the guy on the line. the reagan democrats voted for him. this guy romney is at a particular disadvantage here. when you whack him as a job killer, he looks like one. he looks like the white collar guys in the office overlooking the plant. he doesn't look like your foreman, or your business agent at a labor union. he doesn't look like he connects with workers, does he? >> no, he doesn't. he doesn't look like it and he doesn't sound like it and he hasn't been able to learn to take it. we all got a laugh out of that aircraft line. who talks like that? >> coneheads do. >> someone who does an imitation of a human being talks like
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that, an earthling. he simply can't master it. i think this is going to be a crisis. bob was saying we didn't anticipate this. we were saying the same thing, bob, a few months ago when the tax return came up. it is a kind of entitlement where he's been sheltered from certain kind of questions. how dare you question me sir or madam? and now he's in the rough and tumble politics, and this rash of questions keeps hitting him and hitting him and he's never ready for it because he never expected to have to answer to these things. >> here he is with his response. this is the best he can say. i haven't seen this ad yet. they say it's pretty good. it's the first of his general election ads. it's going to be over the first of the month, by the way, day one in the romney presidency. this is apparently what he's going to do day one. i want you, joan, to respond quickly, but let's watch it. >> what would a romney presidency be like? day one. president romney immediately approves the keystone pipeline,
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creating thousands of jobs that obama blocked. president romney introduces tax cuts and reforms that reward job creators, not punish them. president romney issues order to begin replacing obamacare with common sense health care reform. that's what a romney presidency will be like. >> i'm mitt romney and i approve this message. >> it had a good beat to it. a lot of throbbing business machinery going there. it did sound right. nice music. >> nice music. it's not quite morning in america, but he's trying. it's an important thing to do. he needs to define who he is and what he's going to stand for. but these things don't make sense. keystone doesn't add that many jobs. replacing obamacare with what? and rich people are job creators. we're the job creators. consumers are the job creators and that's what the obama campaign is really going to have to hit him hard on, and i think people are start to go get that. >> here's my pitch with the
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obama campaign. i don't understand why the president doesn't have a massive infrastructure program creating 5 million jobs right now, put it out there to the congress, point to the jobs you're going to do, point to the highways and bridges you're going to fix, point to the jobs you're going to create and say, the republicans are stopping this. i don't understand why he doesn't have something like that in real life on the other side, the democrats' side. your thoughts, bob. this is something -- a lot of people were talking about it, infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure. i don't understand why the democrats aren't the outrageous guys who say, let's go out and create jobs, and if the republicans say no, fine. we're going to show what we have in our bags and this is what we stand for, putting people to work. >> they're listening to you, chris, in chicago and the white house. i think they listen every day, and i think ultimately they may do something like this.
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they're going to draw a whole series of contrasts with romney on jobs on heal, on health care medicare. >> have a jobs bill they have to say no to. don't say no to yourself. >> that's what harry truman did, and i think they may do it. >> thank you. >> it is in the jobs bill. it may not be as prominent as we like it. >> no, big. just like in that commercial, big. thanks, you guys. have a great weekend. great friends. up next. guess who now says attacking mitt romney over bain capital is a bad idea. newt gingrich. the newtster. don't listen to that guy. this is "hardball." he's like freddie krueger, he keeps coming back. and it is friday. anyway, stick around. [ female announcer ] want to spend less and retire with more?
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back to "hardball." this is sideshow. the obama campaign is out with a new ad this week painting mitt romney as a corporate villain type as ceo of bain capital. >> bain was to go in at a very low price, borrow immense amounts of money, pay bain a great deal of money and leave. i'll let you decide if that's really good capitalism. >> get this now. newt has now offered some advice to the obama campaign in an interview with the atlanta journal constitution. quote, gingrich said his experience should be a lesson to obama. that dog won't hunt. gingrich said the attack will not resonate in voters eise minds as they think, you want me to be mad because in one company somewhere romney may have in
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fact been involved in someone losing their job while you as president have been involved in millions of people losing their jobs? and yesterday gop congressman mark coffman offered a halfway apology for spouting off last night. now can bennett, the secretary of state, the person responsible for running this state's election says he's waiting for proof that the president's birth certificate is authentic, something the state of hawaii has confirmed more than once. here is the secretary of state in a radio interview yesterday. >> i'm not a birther. i believe that the president was born in hawaii, or at least i hope he was. but my responsibility as secretary of state is to make sure that the ballots in arizona are correct and that those people whose names are on the ballot have met the qualifications for the office that they're seeking. >> if you don't get an answer from hawaii in time, if they
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won't comply, if they refuse to comply with this, will you remove the president from the ballot? >> that's possible. or the other option would be i would ask all of the candidates, including the president, maybe to submit a certified copy of their birth certificate, but i don't want to do that. >> you know, you're a birther. you talk like that. that guy won't quit, will he? earlier this year, arizona governor jan brewer beat the so-called birther bill which would require candidates to prove their citizenship. she called the whole thing, quote, a bridge too far. up next, can president obama do something democrats rarely do? he wants to win the veterans' vote. and vets may well be with him right now. you're watching "hardball," your place for politics. customers didn't like it. so why do banks do it ?
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i'm jackie deangelis with your cnbc market wrap. the dow ending lower for the 12th time losing 17 points. facebook ends the day about where it began, 38 and some change despite some trading glitches. and $19 a barely on global demand worries. jpmorgan chase ending the week about 1% lower. now back to "hardball." >> instead of being celebrated, our vietnam veterans were often shot. they were called many things when there was only one they deserved to be called, and that was american patriots.
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in two weeks on memorial day, michelle and i will join the vietnam vets and their families at the wall to mark their 55th year of service. >> the president and first lady made out reach to military families a priority, as you noticed, and yesterday the obama campaign rolled out its veterans and military families for obama effort. military has gone republican and the obama campaign wants to change that. this man as extensive experience covering the military. we all know that, mike, after getting the crystal from the rolling stone. he wrote this book "the operators." joe sestag, my compadre. i know your heart is with these
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guys. i want to talk about the fact that here we have a president -- is part of this about the fact, certainly this war isn't the most popular in the world, the one in afghanistan, the one in iraq became less popular, but there's a sense of almost like -- it's not like we're mad at the people who fight in these wars like we were in the vietnam war, it's like we don't think about them, and the president has brought attention to these people who serve this country. >> i can't tell you definitely, chris, and it's great to be back with you, if that's the major ro reason, but it is the reason? you bet it is. a person has been involved with a member of their immediate family in this conflict. he mentioned after vietnam we kicked him to the curb is something he has focused on. people tend to forget in pennsylvania, our home state, 40% of our veterans sitting in jail are there for a drug or
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alcohol-related crime. they came back from vietnam, ptsd, there were two sessions in vietnam and they couldn't get a job. they're into drugs and all of a sudden a gun is used. we're doing much better, but i think highlighting the veterans is something he should be doing, and it's also a much more diverse service. a lot of minorities, a lot of women are a better force, and it will be one where he will be fighting quite legitimately for that vote from veterans and military families. >> i was writing that recent time he went to afghanistan, a war americans are just not that thrilled about, michael. you can read faces. obviously i've always said what's amazing about the military, more than anything else in america, it's really integrated. it really is diverse, it has a lot of different kinds of people, ethnic backgrounds, colors, if you will. and he seems to get the radiant face from people. they really like this guy when he comes over there. >> when they see him in person,
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they embrace him and love him. the obama campaign has bent over backwards to make inroads with military veterans, military personnel. i think it's also important to remember, i think the days of the republican having the lock on this national security vote are over. i think the last ten years, the failed policy in iraq and also the struggles in afghanistan have given a lot of people in the military second thoughts about lining up behind the republican party. we see with their support of ron paul and we've seen it in '08 with their quite significant support of obama. i think 45% of the military vote went to obama in '08. >> is it more reasonable because they know bad wars mean tremendously bad duties, bad futures? you're hitting a point there. >> right, i think the last four years have made is less hawkish,
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actually. every soldier i talked to wants to get out of afghanistan, i would say 75 to 85%. they have experience with the military, they have experience with these wars, and obama is the candidate who is saying, look, we're going to end these wars. what's romney's position on this? romney doesn't have any military service. what's he going to do to appeal to the veterans that obama doesn't have? i think it gives the president the edge. >> i don't think romney has it in the whole history of his family. back to joe. you were going to say something about the decisions of war, not if they have the guts to fight, and they certainly do in their training. the decisionmaking. i just wonder if they automatically vote republican any more. >> i have found in my 30 years of military, people tend to overutilize our military. it's been used carelessly in the
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past decade. we're used to setting goals and trying to achieve those, not having the goals move down the yard line like it did in iraq. . ending a tragic misadventure in iraq because it was harming our national security here at home, being able to violate international air space to pakistan, and then to be able to say i'm going to pivot to where the real challenge for us, his ability to think through and present as a president but also not coming into office with the democratic party's own credentials has boded well.
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but he truly has had success in supporting our military overseas, removing them where they shouldn't be, and second, taking care of veterans after they come home. >> i think he's good at looking out for people and health care and all kinds of things. republicans like the war but not so much in taking care of the troops afterwards. >>. he's vulnerable. come on, go for it. >> my daughter the other day, alex, said, dad you're in my homework too much, so i think i have to get a job. up next, billy guy, the author of "friday night lights "snoorks one of t "friday night lights." he joins us with a book about his mentally ill son.
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♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone likes a bit of order in their life. virtual wallet helps you get it. keep track of spending, move money with a slide, and use the calendar. all to see your money how you want. ♪ facebook went public today after one of the biggest ipos in u.s. history. and here's another example of how central and social media website has become. traditionally pollsters ask which presidential candidate you would rather have dinner or beer with and now it's which one you would rather be friends with on facebook. really? and now between obama and mitt
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romney, more people would like to be friends with president obama. we'll be right back.
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i bathed it in miracles. director: [ sighs ] cut! sorry to interrupt. when's the show?
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well, if we don't find an audience, all we'll ever do is rehearse. maybe you should try every door direct mail. just select the zip codes where you want your message to be seen. print it yourself or find a local partner. and you find the customers that matter most. brilliant! clifton, show us overjoyed. no! too much! jennessa? ahh! a round of applause! [ applause ] [ male announcer ] go online to reach every home, every address, every time with every door direct mail. we're back. my next guess is a pulitzer prize winning journalist who wrote a book "friday night lights." his new book is more personal involving him. in 1993 he became the father of twin boys born 13 weeks early, each weighing less than two pounds. the first, jerry, has gone on to graduate school, has gotten his
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doctorate. his second son is brain damaged, living the life of a savante. he took a trip and chronicled his experience in "father's day." it's as much about finding his son and finding himself. we don't do shows like this much, but i have never read anything as good as this. the writing -- we're used to books ghost written by politicians and by journalists around here. you are not a ghost writer, you're a writer. i wish i could just have you read it -- >> hey, i'm game. >> i mean, the first part of it -- tell us about zach, your son, and the life he lives right now. >> zach has made a lot of progress. as you say, he's mentally disabled. his comprehension is about an eight to ten-year-old level. he works, he bags groceries at a grocery store at the philadelphia daily news. he lives at home with his mom. we're divorced. i see him on the weekends but
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he's never going to drive a car, he's never going to marry. his life is different from a lot of people and certainly different from his twin brother. >> why did you take that trip across the country? >> you know, i love zach to death, but i felt this was an opportunity for him and i to be together to really -- not to get to know each other but for me to really discover him, to be in a car with him. i love the open road. the only problem was zach confided about a third of the way in he would much he would rather. but i wanted to, as they say, discover him. and i felt it was important for the first time ever to tell him what he is like, and what is wrong, and what his future can hold. >> you asked him about his condition. >> i did, and it was a very, very -- probably the hardest conversation i ever had. we were on the indiana tollway, and i said do you know what brain damage is? >> and he said yeah, i know
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something is wrong with my brain. i remember the words "my brain isn't right." i was glad he was that self aware, but you have kids -- >> that blew me away. >> when your son says that, i'm getting shivers. >> you said you were not prepared for him to say he knew his brain was not right. yet i felt gratified. it does not always float in an ether of happy ignorance. but to have any child say my brain isn't right is unimaginable. >> it was crushing, but as i say in the book, he is self aware and on the trip over and over, he proved an awareness, an empathy, he was very observant in a way that i had not noticed. >> there's a couple things that strike me as human there for everybody, not just your situation. one is just trying to find quality time with your kid.
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i took my daughter on a trip. when you want to go across the country, she may not want to be daddy's girl. my mom had alzheimer's, and you ask, do people know they have alzheimer's, and caregivers, god bless you. you see her still trying to make, and she knows you can't do it anymore. he is a big kid, and the thing, we all saw the movie, what was the one with tom cruise. >> rain man. >> the theme is it's not going to change. >> it isn't. he is maturing in some waying, but had will be bagging groceries for the rest of his life. he is a savant a little bit. he has an incredible memory for
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dates and birthdays, he can tell you the day. >> how? is it a calculation? >> he says it's just in your head. >> it's so rich to learn about savants, you say on what page does the word torpedo on? and he will say 314. how can you have that knowledge, but they can't give you any logic about anything. >> no, and they don't know -- the one theory i heard that's fascinating is basically those kids and my son are right himself f hemisphere orients. and it talks to the left and says can we borrow some cells because you're not using them. that would explain the heightened abilities. >> he wants gloves, it's work
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gloves, and it doesn't -- >> yeah. there is no abstract thought, and their sense of logic is totally different. >> in past times, who took care of these kids. you're a loving parent -- >> the original title was idiot savant. fortunately we have gotten rid of that. it's becoming more of a problem, more single parents and moms are having premature children. they're very difficult to take care of. they will often have mental problems, hospitals want to get rid of them, and zach was lucky to have loving parents. >> first of all, it's father's day, give it to a father. any father will understand it, any father with different abilities, some will love them at this moment, and this is also about maybe you're lucky. >> i think that's true. >> what a great book and great
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writer you are. aprayer for the city, you keep doing it. father's day, for father's day. he will be in politics in the city for it. guy there, i go to politics and pros. that's where i go. let me finish with how mitt romney's economic plan looks just like, guess who? george bush's economic plan. the same thing that got us into this mess in the first place and he is not changing it in the least. why do you want to go back to that? you're watching "hardball." . it's not an olympic sport, but it takes real effort and it takes a diaper that fits their every move. pampers cruisers with 3-way fit adapt at the waist, legs, and bottom for up to 12 hours of protection and all the freedom to play like a real champion. pampers. proud supporter of babies' play.
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let me finish tonight with this. would someone tell me how romney's economic program differs from w's? where would you have signalled a 180? a smart course correction? that took us careening into the worst economic horror. i know what you believe. that a smart cap taun of industry just has to do what every due paying member of congress wants him or her to do. cut taxes, give me more money, and stay out of my way. you want to do for business what any business wants you to do. the question the voters have though ask is this, why do you have a different result when you
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keep doing the same thing? why do you, romney, expect to take us anywhere than the downward whirlpool and signal for distress. when bailout was brought into our lives. if you're squared to that same sinking ship w. left as president, why do you sing the praise of bill clinton so often these days? can we predict the person that will hide is the guy whose policies you're out selling. you put us on that course, mister, and we're going to the same collision. that's "hardball" for now. "politicsnation" starts right now. welcome to "politicsnation," i'm al sharpton. tonight's lead, willard mitt romney has a bridge he wants to sell you. a bridge to nowhere.


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